Full Pour Review: Forever Wild

UGH MY HEART 😭🥰 can this series PLEASE last forever?! The Simple Wild series by K.A. Tucker holds such a special place in my heart and the final novella in this series, Forever Wild, the characters, plots and beautiful Alaska scenery was everything that I expected it to be and so much more.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “The holiday season is upon Calla and Jonah, and with the mistletoe and gingerbread comes plenty of family drama. Jonah is bracing himself for two weeks with a stepfather he loathes, and while Calla is looking forward to her mother and Simon’s arrival, she dreads the continued pressure to set a date for their wedding … in Toronto. Add in one bullheaded neighbor’s unintentional meddling and another cantankerous neighbor’s own family strife, and Christmas in Trapper’s Crossing will be anything but simple.”

My favorite part about this book, and this series in general, are the characters. These characters are magical, heartwarming and have so much depth. Calla and Jonah grew so much more as individuals in this book, and I loved being able to watch their relationship continue to strengthen and roll with the punches. I loved the return of so many beloved characters and seeing them continue to play such an important role in Calla and Jonah’s lives. One of my favorite relationships that I was excited to spend more time with in this book was Calla and Roy. It was beautiful to see them become closer and see more walls come down for Roy. It was also a pleasure to finally get to meet Jonah’s mother and stepdad, who we’ve heard about on and off in the first two books.

The various character plots through out this story were also perfect and provided the reader with the closure we desired. This story also wouldn’t be the same without the other nerve-wracking “life or death” plot twists that K.A. Tucker is so good at delivering, and she packed so much punch in this short novella.

I don’t want to give anything away, but this book gave me all the feels and truly was the perfect ending to this series. I am beyond excited for the spin-off series with Marie that will continue to feature some of these same beloved characters we’ve become attached to. If you haven’t read this book yet, or The Simple Wild series at all, I highly encourage you to boost it higher on your TBR list. I personally know that I will continue to think about this series and these characters for a long time 💛 I also am officially obsessed with K.A. Tucker’s writing skills and look forward to reading more books by her this year.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Forever Wild by K.A. Tucker is best paired with Christmas Morning by Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. This delicious beer is one of the famous variations of Hardywood’s original gingerbread stout, brewed with a blend of Brazilian and Sumatran coffee beans from Richmond, Virginia’s Blackhand Coffee Co. 🍻

Full Pour Review: Coming Out Stories

Oh, my heart! Talk about a feel good read! Coming Out Stories: Personal Experiences of Coming Out From Across the LGBTQ+ Spectrum edited by Emma Goswell and Sam Walker was such a powerful, moving and inspiring read!

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Based on the hugely popular Coming Out Storiespodcast, this empowering, humorous and deeply honest book invites you to share one of the most important moments in many LGBTQ+ people’s lives.

From JP coming out to his reflection in the mirror, to Jacob coming out to their Mum over email, from Christine knowing she was trans as a young child, to Kerry coming out as a lesbian in her late thirties, all of the real life stories in this book show you there is no right or wrong way to come out, whatever your age and whatever your background.

Whether you’re gay, pan, queer, bi, trans, non-binary, or an ally, this uplifting go-to resource is filled with helpful advice and tips on what to expect, and inspirational quotes from leading LGBTQ+ figures, to help you live your very best self. Welcome to the family!”

I was absolutely moved by all of the coming out stories and unique experiences portrayed in this book. These beautiful stories were full of emotion – while most made me smile and laugh, others made me sad and cry. My favorite aspect of this book was its ability to inspire the reader to live their best life and stay true to their most authentic self. To put it simply, this book feels like being enveloped in a warm hug 🤗 no matter what you identify as, you will find value and appreciation in this book.

I truly can’t recommend this book enough and think that everyone should read it. Thank you so much Jessica Kingsley and NetGalley for gifting me this wonderful eARC in exchange for my honest review. Coming Out Stories will be released on 1/21 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Coming Out Stories edited by Emma Goswell and Sam Walker is best paired with Dan’s Jams: Blackberry Raspberry Crumble by Full Tilt Brewing. This highly delicious fruited sour ale is aged on blackberries, raspberries, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and lactose 🍻

Full Pour Review: Born a Crime

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah was one of the best memoirs I’ve read this year. Trevor lived a truly fascinating life and I was blown away by his story. Embarrassingly enough, prior to reading his book, I didn’t know much at all about apartheid and I’m thankful for everything I learned from the recollections he shared. This book was very insightful and thought provoking and while there were definitely parts that made me sad and angry, the majority of this book made me smile, laugh and cheer.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

“Born a Crime” is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

I really enjoyed learning about Trevor’s upbringing and was awe-inspired by how him and his mother conquered poverty, racism, violence, domestic abuse, and more. Trevor’s rebellious nature was incredibly entertaining at times, and some of his stories had me crying from laughing so hard (especially the poop story from his childhood- IYKYK). If there was anything I wish I could’ve learned more about in this book, it would be how his career as a comedian took off and how he got where he is today. However, that was not the focus of his story and the beauty of this story is understanding the hardships he and his family, and so many others, endured during apartheid and what he has achieved in spite of having so many odds stacked against him as a child. I also loved how this book was essentially a tribute to the unwavering love and support by his mother. She sounds like an incredibly brave and strong woman, and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her through this book as well.

I truly can’t recommend this memoir enough. For how much raw emotion these intense subjects sparked in this book, it’s Trevor’s incredible narrative that truly made this story educational yet entertaining as hell. This one deserves to be added to your 2021 TBR list if you haven’t already read it.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah is best paired with Beer Drinking is Not a Crime by Aslin Beer Co. This highly enjoyable double dry-hopped DIPA is brewed with Nelson and Citra hops 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett

What a BEAUTIFUL story! 🥰 I can easily say that The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons is one of my favorite books from 2020 and one that will stick with me for a long time. With an emotional and heartwarming story line, and charming characters whose personalities and growth will leave you smiling, I found this story to be thought provoking and hard to put down.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “It’s never too late to start living.

Eudora Honeysett is done with this noisy, moronic world—all of it. She has witnessed the indignities and suffering of old age and has lived a full life. At eighty-five, she isn’t going to leave things to chance. Her end will be on her terms. With one call to a clinic in Switzerland, a plan is set in motion.

Then she meets ten-year-old Rose Trewidney, a whirling, pint-sized rainbow of sparkling cheer. All Eudora wants is to be left alone to set her affairs in order. Instead, she finds herself embarking on a series of adventures with the irrepressible Rose and their affable neighbor, the recently widowed Stanley—afternoon tea, shopping sprees, trips to the beach, birthday celebrations, pizza parties. 

While the trio of unlikely BFFs grow closer and anxiously await the arrival of Rose’s new baby sister, Eudora is reminded of her own childhood—of losing her father during World War II and the devastating impact it had on her entire family. In reflecting on her past, Eudora realizes she must come to terms with what lies ahead. 

But now that her joy for life has been rekindled, how can she possibly say goodbye?”

Annie Lyon’s is a wonderful author and storyteller. For this story, I loved that it was told solely from the perspective of Eudora and that it flipped back and forth between her past and present so that you could really gain an understanding of the difficult life that Eudora has lived and why she was ready to take control of her death. Eudora experienced a very difficult life full of heartache, loss, guilt and regret and at 85 years old, she is incredibly aware of her mortality and is simply tired and ready to end her life. Being able to see Eudora change over the course of the book and watch her slowly let go of the past that weighed her down so much over the years was liberating.

The intergenerational friendship that Eudora develops with Rose and Stanley is incredibly tender, pure and healing, showing Eudora that life is worth living when you have wonderful people in your life. I couldn’t get enough of Rose’s eccentric, witty, loving personality and infectious energy. Stanley is a very funny, loving and loyal gentleman who is recently widowed, and through their shared heartbreaks, Eudora and Stanley were able to help heal one another and find the strength to continue living their lives to their fullest while they still have time.

I honestly can’t praise this book enough. If you’re looking for a story that will make you laugh, cry, and smile all at once, I highly recommend you check out this book. This is the first book that I’ve read by Annie Lyons and I can’t wait to check out more by her. Thank you so much WilliamMorrow for gifting me this incredible story in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons is best paired with Baby Shark by Aslin Beer Company, a delicious citra dry-hopped IPA 🍻

Full Pour Review: Ten Rules For Faking It

OMG MY HEART. I can’t express enough how much I loved Ten Rules For Faking It by Sophie Sullivan. I fell in love with this story instantly and adored every single character. This one was tough to put down and left me feeling so many emotions because it is so relatable and came at a perfect time to help me address/sort through some of my own personal struggles with anxiety at this moment.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “What happens when your love life becomes the talk of the town?

As birthdays go, this year’s for radio producer Everly Dean hit rock-bottom.

Worse than the “tonsillectomy birthday.” Worse than the birthday her parents decided to split (the first time). But catching your boyfriend cheating on you with his assistant?

Even clichés sting.

But this is Everly’s year! She won’t let her anxiety hold her back. She’ll pitch her podcast idea to her boss.

There’s just one problem.

Her boss, Chris, is very cute. (Of course). Also, he’s extremely distant (which means he hates her, right? Or is that the anxiety talking)?

And, Stacey the DJ didn’t mute the mic during Everly’s rant about Simon the Snake (syn: Cheating Ex).

That’s three problems.

Suddenly, people are lining up to date her, Bachelorette-style, fans are voting (Reminder: never leave house again), and her interest in Chris might be a two-way street. It’s a lot for a woman who could gold medal in people-avoidance. She’s going to have to fake it ‘till she makes it to get through all of this.

Perhaps she’ll make a list: The Ten Rules for Faking It.

Because sometimes making the rules can find you happiness when you least expect it.”

First, these characters are magical. Let’s start with Everly, who suffers from severe social anxiety. I can personally relate to Everly’s character so much and the positive and delicate way that her social anxiety was addressed in this book made me tear up a few times because I felt like Sullivan was also indirectly helping me to understand the need to be more gentle and positive with myself. Everly’s character was raw, real and wonderful and I loved how much of her growth we got to experience throughout this book as she bravely overcame a lot of difficult things. Chris’s and Stacey’s character were truly incredible as well and I was in awe of their sensitivity and care toward Everly’s anxiety. They were both so encouraging, consistently reminded her of how brave and strong she truly was, and not once did they ever make her feel like her and her anxiety were too much. That finally leads me to the emotional connection that Everly and Chris shared- it truly was a breath of fresh air. Sullivan couldn’t have done a more perfect job with creating such a beautiful, more relatable relationship that didn’t focus heavily on the steam or physical connections found in most rom-com’s.

Once I was done reading this book, I immediately went online and preordered myself a physical copy. I wasn’t expecting this one to leave such an impact on me, but it did and I’m very grateful for that 💛 I was really impressed with the way that Everly’s social anxiety was handled in this book and I truly can’t recommend this book enough if you’re looking for a sweet, light hearted, not-your-typical rom-com that will not only leave you thinking about the story long after you finished it, but leave you feeling a little stronger if you suffer from general/social anxiety like I do. Ten Rules For Faking It hits shelves on 12/29 and really is a terrific palette cleanser for ending at 2020. Thank you so much NetGalley and Griffin for gifting me this incredible eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Ten Rules For Faking It by Sophie Sullivan is best paired with Rainbow Sherbet by Prairie Artisan Ales. This delicious summer-forward sour ale is brewed with raspberry, pineapple and orange 🍻

Full Pour Review: Detransition, Baby

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is one of my top five favorite books I’ve read in 2020 and I cannot recommend it enough. This story is so unique, witty and heartbreaking and had me hooked from the very beginning. I walked away from this book feeling so many different emotions and I still feel like my words won’t be able to do this book the justice it deserves.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. She had scraped together what previous generations of trans women could only dream of: a life of mundane, bourgeois comforts. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Now Reese is caught in a self-destructive pattern: avoiding her loneliness by sleeping with married men.

Ames isn’t happy either. He thought detransitioning to live as a man would make life easier, but that decision cost him his relationship with Reese—and losing her meant losing his only family. Even though their romance is over, he longs to find a way back to her. When Ames’s boss and lover, Katrina, reveals that she’s pregnant with his baby—and that she’s not sure whether she wants to keep it—Ames wonders if this is the chance he’s been waiting for. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family—and raise the baby together?

This provocative debut is about what happens at the emotional, messy, vulnerable corners of womanhood that platitudes and good intentions can’t reach. Torrey Peters brilliantly and fearlessly navigates the most dangerous taboos around gender, sex, and relationships, gifting us a thrillingly original, witty, and deeply moving novel.”

Detransition, Baby is essentially a study of motherhood and three women: Amy/Ames, Katrina and Reese. Ames is a former trans woman who detransitioned from Amy and began dating his cisgender boss, Katrina. When Katrina became pregnant, after Ames was convinced he was sterile due to his 6 years of treatments while he was Amy, he finally came clean to Katrina about his past as a trans woman. Reese, also a trans woman and Amy’s ex girlfriend, wants to be a mother more than anything in this world. After finding out that Katrina is pregnant, Ames comes up with the unconventional idea of proposing to Reese and Katrina that they raise this baby together. The story flips back and forth between pre-conception and post-conception, giving you a detailed view of Amy’s transition, her relationship and life with Reese, the reasons why she ended up detransitioning and how her life led her to Katrina and their current situation.

I was truly blown away by the characters in this book. They are raw, real, complex and leave you with no choice but to be utterly invested in them- I couldn’t get enough of Amy/Ames’s and Reese’s stories. What I loved the most about them was how messy and honest these characters are and how eye opening their experiences are. You will not be able to read this without feeling their pain, fear, triumphs, joys, hopes, disappointments, and more.

Torrey Peters is an incredibly talented writer and storyteller and after reading her dedication in the beginning of the book, I need to know about her story and everything that inspired this book. Detransition, Baby is an incredible thought-provoking book that taught me so much about the lives of white trans women. Peters does an incredible job at exploring so many other themes such as divorce, parenthood, womanhood, unconventional family structures, sexuality, gender, mental illness, body dysphoria, friendship and more. The exploration of these themes made for quite a few moments of discomfort throughout the book, but they were absolutely necessary and I how thought provoking they were.

This book will make you feel so many different feelings and I encourage you to sit with those feelings afterward. I am so impressed with this compelling story and I truly cannot applaud Peters enough for writing such a fantastic debut novel. I look forward to reading more by her and watching her career grow. Thank you so much NetGalley and Random House for gifting me this eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters is best paired with Mamaw’s Mean Cobbler by Hardywood Park Brewing Company. This delicious beer is a variation of their Peach Tripel brewed with cinnamon, vanilla and lactose additions to give it that sweet, southern-style cobbler taste 🍻

Full Pour Review: Wild at Heart

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

OH. MY. GOD 😭 Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker was everything I was hoping it would be, and more. After falling in love HARD with The Simple Wild, I was eager to dive in to Wild at Heart so I could find out what would happen next with Calla and Jonah and the second book in this series absolutely did not disappoint.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: Calla Fletcher returns to Toronto a different person, struggling to find direction and still very much in love with the rugged bush pilot she left behind. When Jonah arrives on her doorstep with a proposition she can’t dismiss, she takes the leap and rushes back to Alaska to begin their exciting future together.

But Calla soon learns that even the best intentions can lead to broken promises, and that compromise comes with a hefty price—a log cabin in rural Alaska that feels as isolating as the western tundra. With Jonah gone more than he’s home, one neighbor who insists on transforming her into a true Alaskan, and another who seems more likely to shoot her than come to her aid, Calla grapples with forging her own path. In a world with roaming wildlife that has her constantly watching over her shoulder and harsh conditions that stretch far beyond the cold, dark, winter months, just stepping outside her front door can be daunting.

This is not the future Calla had in mind, leaving her to fear that perhaps she is doomed to follow in her mother’s fleeing footsteps after all.

Once again, the Alaska setting was absolutely captivating and K.A. Tucker does an incredible job at painting vivid scenes that suck you in. I loved being able to be a part of Calla and Jonah’s journey of buying a house and navigating their new life together in Alaska. I felt that both characters grew a lot throughout this book, especially Calla, as she tried to find her place in her new home. I enjoyed the new relationships that Calla developed with Toby, Muriel, Roy and Teddy- it was rewarding to see the part they all played in her growth and overcoming fears throughout the book. I also enjoyed the return of Agnes, Mabel and Marie and getting to know them more.

I can’t say enough amazing things about this book. This has been my favorite series in a long time, and I am in awe of K.A. Tucker’s skilled writing. Just like The Simple Wild, it is a perfect, feel-good romantic read and I know that I will be thinking about this book for a while. Even though it hurts knowing that Calla and Jonah’s story is soon coming to an end, I cannot wait to read the third and final novella in this series, Forever Wild, that was just released on 12/1.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker is best paired with Fluffy GBS by Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. This delicious holiday stout is a variant of their original gingerbread milk stout brewed with toasted marshmallow 🍻

Full Pour Review: Jackie and Maria

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Historical fiction is a genre that I have not explored much of, but am working on changing that! Jackie and Maria by Gill Paul is a wonderful historical fiction novel that focuses on Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas and their connection with one another through their involvement with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, one of the world’s most richest and captivating men. I was so intrigued by these women and their experiences that I binged this book pretty quickly, struggling to put it down.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: The President’s Wife; a Glamorous Superstar; the rivalry that shook the world…

Jackie Kennedy was beautiful, sophisticated, and contemplating leaving her ambitious young senator husband. Life in the public eye with an overly ambitious–and unfaithful―man who could hardly be coaxed to return from a vacation after the birth of a stillborn child was breaking her spirit. So when she’s offered a holiday on the luxurious yacht owned by billionaire Ari Onassis, she says yes…to a meeting that will ultimately change her life.

Maria Callas is at the height of her operatic career and widely considered to be the finest soprano in the world. And then she’s introduced to Aristotle Onassis, the world’s richest man and her fellow Greek. Stuck in a childless, sexless marriage, and with pressures on all sides from opera house managers and a hostile press, she finds her life being turned upside down by this hyper-intelligent and impeccably charming man…

Little by little, Maria’s and Jackie’s lives begin to overlap, and they come closer and closer until everything they know about the world changes on a dime.

Gill Paul is an incredible writer and storyteller and I found myself in awe of her skills. She will take you on a mesmerizing emotional rollercoaster with this one as you navigate through the years preceding JFK’s presidency and after his assassination. Alternating between both Jackie’s and Maria’s perspectives, this book was full of glitz and glamour that featured a lot of beautiful Mediterranean background. I was INVESTED in these characters- I absolutely adored learning so much fascinating info about these two beautiful, complicated women and my heart ached for them throughout the book as I learned about the infidelity and fertility issues that both women faced and how these experiences shaped their lives. The small glimpse of the PTSD experienced by Jackie Kennedy after JFK’s assassination was truly heartbreaking to read about as well.

I enjoyed this book so much and if you haven’t already read this book, I highly recommend checking it out. Not only is it a wonderfully written and captivating story in general, it’s a wonderful read for those interested in Jackie Kennedy and Maria Callas, as well as anyone (like me!) who doesn’t read much historical fiction or know much about these women at all! Thank you so much WilliamMorrow for gifting me this wonderful story in exchange for my honest review! I will be thinking about this one for a while 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Jackie and Maria by Gill Paul is best paired with Native Peach by Downeast Cider House. This deliciously refreshing peach cider is both sweet and tart with subtle flavoring in the beginning that grows with every sip 🍻

Full Pour Review: Little Deadly Secrets

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

To say that I enjoyed this book would be a great understatement. Little Deadly Secrets by Pamela Crane is officially one of my favorite suspense novels this year. The opening scene was intense and eery, setting the tone for the rest of the book super fast.

DESCRIPTION: Three best friends. Two unforgiveable sins. One dead body. Mackenzie, Robin, and Lily have been inseparable forever, sharing life’s ups and downs and growing even closer as the years have gone by. They know everything about each other. Or so they believe. Nothing could come between these three best friends . . . except for a betrayal. Nothing could turn them against each other . . . except for a terrible past mistake. Nothing could tear them apart . . . except for murder.

The characters in this book were phenomenal. Pamela Crane did a wonderful job connecting the reader with each of the characters and immersing them into their worlds. I loved that the story was told in multiple POV’s and not just from the adults, but even some of the children. Each character took me on an emotional roller coaster through their intense story lines and I loved how much their strength and vulnerability seeped through the pages. It was incredibly hard not to fall in love with all of the characters and their triumphs, failures and flaws.

I don’t want to go into particular story lines and give too much away, but the drama within this book is very similar to Big Little Lies– domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault, drug addiction, infidelity, murder, alcohol abuse, dark secrets, betrayals and more. The building tension, surprise twists and explosive ending kept me on the edge of my seat and made it incredibly hard to put this book down.

I truly can’t recommend this book enough. If you are a fan of Big Little Lies and looking for your next binge-read, I think it’s safe to say that you will love Little Deadly Secrets as well. Thank you again so much to WilliamMorrow for gifting me this amazing book in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Little Deadly Secrets by Pamela Crane is best paired with Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin by New Belgium Brewing Company. Not only is this my absolute favorite pumpkin beer, I’ll bet it’s unlike any pumpkin beer you’ve had before 😉 Not too spicy and not too sweet, this pumpkin ale was brewed with Saigon Cinnamon and Habanero and De Arbol peppers for an explosion of flavors that’ll keep you coming back for more 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Queer Advantage

RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

“Being queer has made me more sympathetic to people who are different, all across the board. It’s given me occasion to interrogate my own privilege and consider just how hard other people’s lives are. Because I know how hard my life was and it makes me more able to understand the burdens that other people carry in silence.”

– Jennifer Finney Boylan, The Queer Advantage

Wow… Talk about a feel-good, inspiring book! 🥰 The Queer Advantage by Andrew Gelwicks is a powerful celebration of queerness via essays and interviews that focus on the following key themes: channeling anger in a positive way, the power of the Internet as a tool of self discovery, bridging generational gaps, leveraging your difference to beget new ideas and strategies, finding your queer tribe and leaning on one another, and accessing resources to conquer crippling denial/doubt/internalized homophobia.

This book features 50 high-profile individuals and each individual has a chapter in the book that is set up in an interview format between them and Andrew. Before the interview questions, Andrew provides some interesting background information on each of the individuals. I really liked the layout of this book and I learned so much about each of the people he interviewed. The people interviewed vary from celebrities, politicians, athletes, business leaders, tech leaders, and much more. I loved learning about how each of them navigated coming out to their friends/family/workplaces, their hard-won lessons along the way, and the variety of perspectives that these individuals offered on why their queerness has been advantageous to them and how it has propelled them to forge their own paths in their personal lives, their careers, etc.

“The biggest thing I have (certainly as a writer, but also in other ways) is belief in revision. If you don’t get something right the first time, your life isn’t over. To be willing to admit that any belief you have might be wrong, to be willing to have your mind changed, to be open to new knowledge. What is being transgender if not a kind of cosmic way of believing in the power of multiple drafts? Being trans made me understand you get a lot of shots in this life. It’s never too late to become yourself. It also helped me understand when I was forty that my life wasn’t over. That it was possible to start my life over as a woman and to take the goodness of my earlier life with me…”

– Jennifer Finney Boylan, The Queer Advantage

My favorite take away, and one of the most common pieces of advice offered across all of the interviewees in the book, is the importance of being your most authentic self and bringing that to the table every day. When you are not living your most authentic life, you are only getting in the way of your genuine happiness, success, creativity and more.

“(Being gay) has made me more empathetic, more easily able to understand how other minority groups feel, and how fighting for a group that’s discriminated against is important. I grew up in Sandusky and 30 percent of my classmates were people of color. That was normal to me. But coming out as gay and living through those direct attacks- and understanding how unequal we were- helped me understand how unequal life was for my friends who were people of color. It helped build my sense of empathy, my willingness to speak up on another’s behalf, and to fight.”

⁃ James Obergefell, The Queer Advantage

“Anytime you get to look at things from another point of view is an advantage. That’s why I think being different is always an advantage. The entire structure of the world is built for straight people, and we’re seeing it from a different angle. So if you bring that to bear on your creative projects or businesses, that’s always going to be an advantage.”

⁃ Richie Jackson, The Queer Advantage

Needless to say, I loved this book and can’t wait for the public to get their hands on it! This book is truly for everyone and anyone and I highly recommend checking it out. The Queer Advantage by Andrew Gelwicks hits shelves on 10/13. Thank you so much to NetGalley and Hachette Books for gifting me this wonderful eARC in exchange for my honest review 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Queer Advantage by Andrew Gelwicks is best paired with Double Blueberry and Cherry Funk by Jailbreak Brewing Company. This highly delicious and refreshing fruit sour is made with blueberries and cherries and contains slight notes of stone fruit 🍻